For when everything is embarrassing, yet so carefree. The looming end of university and the endless possibilities but having absolutely no idea how to get there or knowing that’s exactly what you want to do. I should be dating but should feel happy and secure in myself to be alone. Everything feels huge, yet so insignificant all at the same time.
There are two albums released this year that have stood out to me and have captured all these confusing feelings. Whether it's being confident in accepting uncertainty and the messiness of it all or being settled in trusting your feelings, these are my recommendations for the trenches…
Drop Cherries by Billie Marten.
For love both sweet and sour.
Cherries as a metaphor for love is an image that has really stuck with me. Dropping cherries as an act of love, hoping that someone picks them up and finds them as sweet as you do, the unpredictability of it and the subsequent chaos when it doesn’t quite go as expected, left squashed all over the floor.
Something I’ve always been drawn to in Marten’s music is her ability to write feelings of uncertainty with full honesty and truthfulness, in such a poetic and beautiful way.
Drop Cherries captures every stage and feeling of love, in a way that feels like it has come straight out of her journal. From those nights when you’re lying awake, brain buzzing with feelings that can’t quite be tied down, until you find the entire page is full of waffle and you look back the next day and genuinely question your mental stability (or maybe that’s just me and I am genuinely insane).
Marten’s poeticism and ethereal voice create comfort in those moments, the naturalistic imagery forming roots and stability, comfort in those spirals of chaos. This is not to say the album is full of those chaotic moments, there is also the capturing of those beautiful moments when that person is the only thing left that makes sense, and all that is left is Drop Cherries.
Messy by Olivia Dean
A backdrop of infectious grooves and experimentation, the album explores what it is to find love in your twenties. To allow yourself to be open to new love, the uncertainty of it all, complete admiration and unconditional love for one woman’s bravery, and to letting go of the first love you never thought you could. It is an album which is fun for all of its tenderness and another, which feels honest and true.
The opening track UFO encapsulates this idea of uncertainty and the subsequent alienation of discovering a new chapter of yourself and navigating a new or first love. This vulnerable state is evoked through the striped-back nature of the song, focusing in on her voice and her words.
I would thoroughly recommend listening to this album with friends in the car. It is one for embracing the awkward stares when you’re stopped at the traffic lights.
Some honourable mentions, which could not be missed for the trenches are The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We by Mitski, both Heaven and Gold by Cleo Sol and Both Sides Now by the Queen Miss Joni Mitchell.
Words + image: Lucy Norris, she/her